|Marriott will focus on luxury and international growth.|
Marriott is making moves. The largest hotelier in the United States says it will reorganize into four geographic units—the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia—each headed by its own president. The current makeup has U.S. and Canadian operations, global timeshare, international and Ritz-Carlton, it’s luxury brand, which will now fall under the full Marriott umbrella. The full reorganization is expected to be complete by 2011.
Marriott executives say that the changes will not be reflected in the quality of the Ritz-Carlton brand, whose top-notch service and quality will stay the same. The brand’s headquarters will also remain in Chevy Chase, MD, about a 20-minute drive from Marriott’s global headquarters outside Washington, D.C.
In another move, Marriott also announced it is launching a new brand called the Autograph Collection, aimed at independent high-end hotels. The Collection will allow independent hotels to stay the same but leverage Marriott’s economies of scale to save on costs. The new hotels will act as franchises.
Meantime, Marriott remains focused on the luxury segment. Next year, Marriott will open its first two Edition hotels in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The brand is a partnership between Marriott and developer Ian Schrager.